ATME Presentation – Collision of SEO and Social, Who Draws the Creepy Line?

Robert Cole presented “The Collision of SEO & Social – Who Draws the Creepy Line?” for the Association of Travel Marketing Executives (ATME) Annual Conference held on June 27, 2012 at the W City Center in Chicago, Illinois. Travel industry marketing leaders were challenged to think about the ethical and privacy implications of their strategies.

Collision of SEO and Social – Where’s the Creepy Line?

Changing rules, or a complete lack of rules governing the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) methods to increase Social Media ranking results in many groups using new technology to approach and cross the Creepy Line. The presentation is a discussion of the issues in play and what travel companies can do to engage customers and avoid crossing the creepy line – even when competitors are behaving badly.

New FTC Rule Helps Improve Social Media & Travel Reviews

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took a much needed positive step forward by introducing guidelines designed to differentiate between legitimate personal opinions and sponsored commercial endorsements made through social media. Individuals blogging or posting product reviews are now required, under threat of fines up to $11,000 per post, to disclose any material connections between themselves and the companies selling the products they are reviewing. This will improve the accuracy and reliability of hotel reviews and help eliminate unethical practices designed to artificially improve travel industry product rankings.